Sports

The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

List Rules
Vote up the top players who never quite reached the NBA mountaintop.

List of the greatest NBA basketball players of all time who never won a championship ring. Though winning a championship is the ultimate goal of any team in any league, often circumstances conspire to keep even the most elite athletes from actually making it to that pinnacle of achievement. Thus, it has become a known and accepted truth that there must be other ways to measure the greatness of a basketball icon other than counting up their actual championship record. A number of lesser players whose names have been all but forgotten to history have collected more rings than legends like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Reggie Miller.

But what other measurements can be used to evaluate the dominance of a given player, if not by the rings on their fingers? Perhaps participation in NBA All Star competitions? Their central importance to a particular team or city? It'd be hard to argue against the greatness of six-time NBA All Star Shawn Kemp, nor to deny his integral position on the '90s Seattle Sonics. Yet in may ways because of the dominance of Michael Jordan's Bulls dynasty, Kemp was never part of a championship team. 

Below, vote for your favorite players who never managed to clinch a championship victory. And if you think a key player has been left off the list, add them by making your own re-ranked version. Thanks to your votes, we'll create a list of the best NBA players without a ring.

Photo:
list ordered by
  • Allen Iverson
    1

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2001)

    Allen Ezail Iverson (; born June 7, 1975), nicknamed "the Answer", is an American former professional basketball player. He played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) at both the ...more
  • John Stockton
    2

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998)

    John Houston Stockton (born March 26, 1962) is an American retired professional basketball player. He spent his entire NBA career (1984–2003) as a point guard for the Utah Jazz, and the team made the ...more
  • Karl Malone
    3

    3 NBA Finals appearances (1997, 1998, 2004)

    Karl Anthony Malone (born July 24, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball player. Nicknamed "The Mailman", Malone played the power forward position and spent his first 18 seasons ...more
  • Charles Barkley
    4

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1993)

    Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20, 1963) is an American retired professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on Inside the NBA. Nicknamed Chuck, Sir Charles, Street Beef, and The ...more
  • Steve Nash
    5
    Stephen John Nash OC OBC (born 7 February 1974) is a Canadian professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...more
  • Reggie Miller
    6

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2000)

    Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965) is an American retired professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association (NBA) career with the Indiana Pacers. ...more
  • Patrick Ewing
    7

    2 NBA Finals appearances (1994, 1999)

    Patrick Aloysius Ewing (born August 5, 1962) is a Jamaican-American retired Hall of Fame basketball player and current head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team. He played most of ...more
  • Tracy McGrady
    8

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2013)

    Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. (born May 24, 1979) is an American former professional basketball player. He is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he played as both ...more
  • Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr. (born July 15, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college ...more
  • Dominique Wilkins
    10
    Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American retired professional basketball player who primarily played for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). ...more
  • Vince Carter
    11
    Vincent Lamar Carter Jr. (born January 26, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player who is a basketball analyst for ESPN. He has been ranked as the greatest dunker of all time by ...more
  • Elgin Baylor
    12

    8 NBA Finals appearances (1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970)

    Elgin Gay Baylor (September 16, 1934 – March 22, 2021) was an American former basketball player, coach, and executive. He played 14 seasons as a small forward in the National Basketball Association ...more
  • Pete Maravich
    13
    Peter Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988), known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player. Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the ...more
  • Chris Paul
    14

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2021)

    Christopher Emmanuel Paul (born May 6, 1985) is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has won the NBA Rookie of the Year ...more
  • Paul George
    15
    Paul Cliftonantho George (born May 2, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a six-time NBA All-Star and ...more
  • Tim Hardaway
    16
    Timothy Duane Hardaway Sr. (born September 1, 1966) is an American retired basketball player. At 6 ft (1.83 m) tall, he was best known for his crossover dribble which was dubbed the "UTEP Two-step" ...more
  • Penny Hardaway
    17

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1995)

    Anfernee Deon "Penny" Hardaway (born July 18, 1971) is an American college basketball coach for the Memphis Tigers and a former professional player. Hardaway played in the National Basketball ...more
  • Dikembe Mutombo
    18

    2 NBA Finals appearance (2001, 2003)

    Dikembe Mutombo Mpolondo Mukamba Jean-Jacques Wamutombo (born June 25, 1966) is a Congolese American retired professional basketball player. Mutombo played 18 seasons in the National Basketball ...more
  • James Harden
    19

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is one of the NBA's most ...more
  • Russell Westbrook
    20

    1 NBA Finals appearance (2012)

    Russell Westbrook III (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is a nine-time NBA All-Star ...more
  • Shawn Kemp
    21

    1 NBA Finals appearance (1996)

    Shawn Travis Kemp (born November 26, 1969) is an American retired professional basketball player, who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 14 seasons. He was a six-time NBA ...more
  • Yao Ming
    22
    Yao Ming (born September 12, 1980) is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) and the ...more
  • George Gervin
    23
    George Gervin (born April 27, 1952), nicknamed "The Iceman", is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball ...more
  • Chris Webber
    24
    Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III (born March 1, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player. He is a five-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, a former NBA Rookie of ...more
  • Grant Hill
    25
    Grant Henry Hill (born October 5, 1972) is a former American professional basketball player and current Hudl videographer for Orlando City SC. He is also currently a host of NBA TV's NBA Inside ...more